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After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he's center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.
Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children's mother, he doesn't want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn't want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Neta_BER on 10-29-17
Love this emotional book by an amazing author!
I don't have enough stars for this review i need like a 1000 more!
This story is gripping, emotional and unique, the length of the book compliments the story and makes it that much better. Each character develops through the book and is depicted with so much life and realness. I was constantly at awe with each chapter, in a roller-coaster of feelings and lyrical writing that had me begging for more!
Christopher is such a sweet man and I love his very human faults, Jesse is a sexy man through and through yet he is also a father- that contrast makes him so appealing and thrilling to me. I love how each man has his own history, and how both the good and the bad are depicted. The way Leta describes Jesse's emotions regarding his wife, both how she looks physically and his marriage to her is so touching mostly because of how real it is. Her writing not only brings life to each word, but color, smell - this is a full body experience book.
And let's not forget the sexy bits, because let me tell you- you will need to call the fire department to put out the flames after reading this book. Both the eroticism in their physical relationship and the added emotions they have and build together is just pure magic!!! The complexity of Jesse's life, how they fight to make the relationship work and the rawness of feelings that you can just connect to because they are so very real-life. This story had high drama potential, and yet it cleverly kept it down to earth and, again for lack of a better word, real.
Now let's talk narration for a bit- this is the best audiobook I read EVER also because of John Solo. This man, is not one man but many, men and women that, that each has color, voice, hopes, fears and dreams. I have never felt more pure emotion listening to a book in my life. There are truly not enough words and ways I can say how the narration elevates this fantastic story. Solo can manipulate his voice to wring out every lest nuance from a scene, line, laugh and smile. I am still a bit starry eyed about this book and would gladly read any Leta Blake book I can get my hands on. Solo's narration was the cherry on top of the mountain. If you like MM, Romance or just like a story to touch your heart, you need this book!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Mari Cardenas on 11-24-17
Just about as perfect as the book!
I read Smoky Mountain Dreams for the first time three years ago and I fell in love with it and has remained one of my favorite books ever since, so of course, I was going to jump at the chance of listening to it.
Let me tell you, if I loved it the first time around, finding it "a fantastic, emotional rollercoaster read!", I absolutely adored it this time around, too.
I cried, I laughed, I drooled over the fabulous sex scenes (especially the one in Jesse's workshop office, damn I'm never going to look at pearls the same way again!), but above all, I fell in love with Jesse and Christopher, with Brigid and Will, with Jackie and Joe and their children, with Christopher's gran and even with Gareth! They were all such well-rounded, tridimensional characters, with good and bad things and everything in between, making them so much more realistic to me.
Christopher was definitely my favorite character. He was so loyal and loving, only wanting someone to really see him and love him because of who he was, always willing to forgive, and be second-choice, which broke my heart several times. I'm so happy Jesse could give him what he needed in every sense, to be part of a family.
"Life's too short to waste it arguing about whether or not you're sorry enough for something I damn well know you're sorry for." That has to be one of my favorite quotes from the book and I think it shows a lot of Christopher's character. Even when Jesse messed up (several times, I might add), he was always willing to listen and forgive, perhaps not quite forget, but he tried to understand Jesse's motives.
I loved Jesse, even if he could be selfish and I wanted to throat punch him at one time, at least he actually realized he'd messed up (with some help from Amanda and Gareth) and made up for it, putting Christopher first when he needed him the most.
The chemistry between Jesse and Christopher and the progression of their relationship as they fall in love, was natural and organic and their love transcended the pages.
John Solo did a fantastic job with the narration, perhaps the kids' voices could have been a bit better, but it was still very enjoyable. He has a lovely tone of voice and he managed to inject it with the appropriate amount of emotion during all the scenes to translate Leta Blake's words to audio. One thing, though, if you're listening to the last, say, 4 or 5 chapters while driving, you might start crying so beware. Other than that, it was as perfect as the book. Highly recommendable!
Story: 5+ Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars
4 of 4 people found this review helpful